Another gone: USF recruit Knight signs with O's
Another USF baseball signee is choosing to be a pro signee, as Austin Knight, a junior college transfer from Maryland, said he signed Sunday with his hometown Orioles after being drafted in the 37th round.
Knight will start his pro career with the Aberdeen IronBirds, practically a dream come true for an Orioles fan -- the New York-Penn League team is owned by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, and Knight will play his first home games in Ripken Stadium.
"Tough decision, yes, but the fact it's my hometown and I can live at home made it easier," Knight said via text message on Tuesday.
Knight is the fourth player from USF's 2011 roster lost to the draft, following fellow signee Kyle Ryan and juniors Stephen Hunt and Eric Sim. Six more players -- two juniors and four signees -- were drafted, with only prep outfielder Ozney Guillen firmly committed to attending USF right now.
-- Two more signees, left-hander Nick Gonzalez (Leto) and outfielder James Ramsay (Brandon) said Tuesday they may wait until after they've started summer classes at USF to decide whether to sign a pro contract. Gonzalez, picked in the 30th round by the Phillies, said he is "just going to wait and be patient" before making a decision by the Aug. 15 deadline.
"Either way, I have everything I've wanted," said Gonzalez, who is playing in a local summer league, hoping to impress the Phillies.
-- One signee who won't be changing his mind is Mike Carballo, an outfielder from Archbishop McCarthy in Fort Lauderdale who was rated as the state's No. 35 high school draft prospect by Baseball America but went undrafted.
Carballo, who helped McCarthy win a state championship last month, has a good combination of speed and power -- he had 15 stolen bases and seven home runs as a senior -- and was originally committed to Georgia Tech before choosing the Bulls. With Hunt and Ryan Lockwood gone, he'll have a chance to compete for a starting outfield job next spring.
-- In basketball news, former USF men's coach Robert McCullum has landed a spot on Paul Hewitt's staff at Georgia Tech, a better job than the one he lost when Central Florida coach Kirk Speraw and his assistants were fired in March.
-- As NFL teams start signing draft picks, they're having to cut players to make room on the roster. On Tuesday, the Steelers cut seven players, including former USF cornerback Trae Williams. While we're updating the NFL transactions, receiver S.J. Green was cut by the Jets last month, but could be returning to the CFL champion Montreal Alouettes.